- Book Title: Acceptable Behaviour
- Book Series: Marked Men #1
- Author: Jenna Byrnes
- Publisher: Pride Publishing (January 26, 2016)
- Book Length: 203 pages
- Genre: Contemporary, Erotic, Romance
- Reviewed by: Jill
- Rating: 3.5 Star
- Posting Date: January 26, 2016
I’m doing something a little different this time. Since I only have a PDF, and we all know I can’t read a PDF on my Kindle, I read this the same day I got it. Go me! I also took notes as I read. The jury is still out if that was a good idea or not. My notes have a few too many spoilers. Granted, this is a romance, and “spoiling” a romance is not the same as giving away the plot twists in a mystery or thriller. Still though, it’s not my goal to ruin the read for anyone.
By page 10, I liked it and was pretty hooked. The beginning is really cute. Dr. Travis is a pediatrician. He’s apparently very hot, because all the moms bring their kids to him. Sadly, we didn’t see any Munchausen by proxy so that the moms had extra excuses to visit the doctor. I know, only I would think that makes a good plot thread. Moving on. As the blurb says, Sam meets the doctor when he takes his nephew “to be seen for an ear infection.” See there, I’m not spoiling anything. Oh, and Sam is hot, too, according to Dr. Travis. (I started to write ‘according to the doctor of love’ but that doesn’t really work for a pediatrician – bummer)
I’ve been gorging on sweet romances and this certainly fits the bill. Sometimes the over the top sweetness is too much, you know? There’s a very fine line between just right and too much. As of page 40, we’re still on the right side of that line. There are several one-liners thrown around, and they had me laughing out loud. We get to know both men pretty well since this is dual third-person POV. I liked the plot, by the way. Let me back up, not all the plot threads are believable, but the author has done a pretty good job of making me not care too much. I better tell you this one should have an insta-love tag. I know that bothers some people more than others. It’s a personal thing, so I’m not judging, I just want everyone to enjoy the book. What else can I say about the plot without giving away too much? While the sweet factor is up there and Dr. Travis is a bit over bearing at times, I didn’t feel the need to put it down. I am happy to report that there is no manufactured angst in the form of a miscommunication. These two men communicate pretty well, actually. There is drama, due to outside forces, and it’s mostly done well. There is one plot thread toward the end that was just one too many for me. Especially since it was resolved within a few pages and didn’t add anything to the story. Except a few more pages to read.
There are a few secondary characters with real impact: Mel (Melanie), Sam’s sister; Levi, Mel’s son (& Sam’s nephew); Travis’ parents Kim and Dave. The majority of the story is spent with Sam and Travis. Levi does not try to take over any scenes, so if you’re wary of kids in romance novels, this will probably be ok for you. I’m not a good judge of what children should sound like vocabulary-age wise, but it seemed reasonable to me. I’m going to mention, because I thought it was a different and interesting, I liked Mel’s evolution in the story. She’s not an MC in the conventional sense, but she is a catalyst for so much of the relationship between the MCs and truly had to be a major character, if not a main character. I hope that makes sense. This is a romance, first and foremost, so I’ve chosen to forgive some of the easy fixes. Easy may not be the right word, but because some of it happens off page, it felt easy.
It’s funny, I’m reading my notes and now I’m not sure how to talk about the sex. There was lots of sex. Lots. Hot in the beginning, but it seems like the author got tired of the sex and we got more fade to black than vivid descriptions as the story progressed. I have to ask: What in the world is a double 69? Yes, that was in one of the sex scenes. OMG, Travis liked talking dirty. At least, I think it was dirty. I also thought it bordered on cheesy porn talk, but that could just be my repressed/puritan upbringing. (not sure I said that correctly, but oh well)
As I already mentioned, I liked the plot. I liked where it went and mostly how it got there. The ending is sweet and a little predictable, but still fitting. Although, some parts were a surprise, so bonus points for that. I can’t say I love either Sam or Travis, but I definitely like them enough to be happy they are getting their HEA.
What should I rate this? Well, it’s an easy read. Low to medium angst. Again, points awarded for no communication misunderstandings. All angst of the realistic type. (if that even makes sense) It’s not perfect, but I can certainly recommend this for a quick, afternoon read (it’s less than 200 pages). For me, this is 3.5 to 4 fluffy stars. Gees, Scott’s going to make me pick one, isn’t he? Alright. I liked the plot, and choose to forgive the easy fixes. There was that one extra drama plot thread that seemed over the top for me. I don’t remember any editing issues, so that goes in the YAY column. What about the fade to black sex scenes? Hmm. It’s a romance, so I would suggest not so many fade to black sex scenes. Hey, that could make up for the pages I didn’t like. I still haven’t made up my mind. Oh, I liked the characters, but I didn’t love them. That’s going to tip me to 3.5 sweet and fluffy stars. Yeah, I’m good with that.
Tattoos don’t define a person’s character, or make him sexy. But, if you ask Sam Madison, they sure don’t hurt.
Dr. Travis Nelson has a passion for ink but keeps his many tattoos covered by long sleeves and trousers. He’s aware that as a pediatrician he’ll be judged not only by the other physicians in his practice, but also by the parents of his young patients.
When Sam Madison takes his young nephew, Levi, to be seen for an ear infection, he’s immediately attracted to Travis and the feeling is mutual. But Sam’s sister Melanie is going through a rough time and caring for Levi, and covering her obligations, keeps Sam occupied. He feels like he’s in no position to start a relationship.
Travis sees things differently, though he’s unable to truly understand the deep bond and connection Sam shares with his twin. As Melanie’s life goes from bad to worse, Sam is forced to make difficult decisions. Is protecting Levi enough of a reason for the two men to stay together, or will fighting for the child ultimately tear them apart?
Jenna Byrnes could use more cabinet space and more hours in a day. She’d fill the kitchen with gadgets her husband purchases off TV and let him cook for her to his heart’s content. She’d breeze through the days adding hours of sleep, and more time for writing the hot, erotic romance she loves to read.
Jenna thinks everyone deserves a happy ending, and loves to provide as many of those as possible to her gay, lesbian and hetero characters. Her favourite quote, from a pro-gay billboard, is “Be careful who you hate. It may be someone you love.”
Go to the Author Page for Jenna Byrnes
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